Thursday, December 22, 2016

Espresso Tutorials eBooks Library for SAP FICO Users

HPC America is pleased to offer Espresso Tutorials library of e-books for SAP users at utility
companies. We’ve known the Espresso Tutorials team for years, and find their guides to be clear, insightful, and highly effective at helping SAP users boost their practical knowledge SAP ERP functionality.

If you're training a new SAP team, or want to provide reference materials for experienced users, Espresso Tutorials' books are a great resource. Learn more about discounted subscriptions to Espresso Tutorials online library, and specific SAP FICO titles that HPC recommends.

Friday, October 14, 2016

#SAP4UTL Take-Aways About FERC Reporting on SAP S/4HANA

Like some of you attending the 2016 SAP for Utilities conference earlier this week, we had the opportunity to learn and talk about different approaches to regulatory accounting on SAP S/4HANA. FERC reporting has historically been an obscure topic, but it’s getting more airtime as utilities consider carefully the business case for, and impact of, moving to S/4HANA or S/4HANA Finance ("Simple Finance").

In the course of discussing FERC processes and results with #SAP4UTL conference attendees, we validated that HPC’s new design for real-time reporting on S/4HANA will in fact meet the needs of utilities adopting SAP’s in-memory platform. The software solution we introduced at the conference, HPC DECIPHER, has a light architecture: it runs natively on the Universal Journal, and doesn’t entail the use of a second HANA system running in parallel (or any additional hardware for that matter). As well, HPC DECIPHER does not require SLT replication of master data or coding block changes.

Bigger picture, we determined that HPC DECIPHER reinforces — even clinches — the business case for SAP S/4HANA in several ways. 

By making the most of SAP’s new technology, HPC DECIPHER translates GAAP to Regulatory accounts in real-time, directly in your S/4HANA server; eliminates GAAP-FERC reconciliation issues; functionalizes operational costs with the most granular level of detail; allocates common costs by utility code or line of business; generates full Financial Statements with drill down to all regulatory line items; enables easy, controlled reversal and reposting of regulatory data; identifies all cost flows traced from start to finish—and in reverse—with drill-down to details; and translates the fixed asset sub-ledger to regulatory accounts (e.g., the 300 series for FERC) directly in S/4HANA, thereby creating the potential to reduce the use of some costly third-party fixed asset solutions. And HPC DECIPHER does all of this, and more, without the legacy FERC module.

So, if you, too, discussed real-time FERC reporting on S/4HANA at the SAP for Utilities conference, and are now asking questions about regulatory reporting on S/4HANA, please contact HPC to chat about HPC DECIPHER — or to simply pick our brains. As you may already know, we’ve specialized in FERC reporting for utilities on SAP for a long time, since the very beginning, and our unmatched expertise will benefit most utilities transitioning to SAP S/4HANA.

Monday, October 3, 2016

SAP S/4HANA Add-On: HPC DECIPHER for Real-Time Regulatory Financials

HPC America is pleased to announce its latest innovation for utilities on SAP® S/4HANA: HPC DECIPHER for real-time regulatory financials.

HPC DECIPHER is an ABAP-based software application that runs natively on the SAP Universal Journal. It provides the most comprehensive translation, allocation, adjustment, reporting, and forensics for utilities on SAP S/4HANA or S/4HANA Finance. HPC DECIPHER delivers greater accounting transparency, stronger rate case positions, and improved back-office efficiency.

Key Benefits for Utilities on SAP S/4HANA

  • Translates GAAP to Regulatory accounts in real-time, directly in S/4HANA or S/4HANA Finance
  • Portions line items to multiple regulatory accounts
  • Allocates common costs, such as those from shared services, by utility code
  • Generates full Financial Statements with drill down to all regulatory line items
  • Eliminates the need for lump-sum journal entries that lose valuable transaction details
  • Enables easy, controlled reversal and reposting of regulatory data
  • Improves responsiveness to regulatory inquiries, and strengthens rate case positions
  • Establishes one version of the truth between GAAP and Regulatory views

Learn More at the SAP for Utilities Conference #SAP4UTL

Utilities can learn more about FERC reporting on SAP S/4HANA and the benefits HPC DECIPHER delivers at the SAP for Utilities conference in Huntington Beach, CA, October 10-11, 2016. Meet HPC America at booth #39 to discuss SAP S/4HANA adoption strategies and alternative approaches to regulatory accounting for utilities on SAP S/4HANA. Schedule a meeting with HPC now.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

HPC America on Twitter

SAP FICO/FERC professionals at utility companies on SAP can now follow HPC America on Twitter to get our insights, customer case studies, and white papers on SAP Financials, Regulatory Reporting (FERC), and Work Management optimization.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Utility Accounting Controllers Love

In anticipation of the SAP for Utilities conference coming up in two weeks, HPC has been thinking about what makes for truly exceptional utility accounting. After serving utilities on SAP for more than 20 years, we've learned that customers value—dare we say love—the following:
  • A complete and accurate functionalized view of their financials
  • No reconciliation issues between GAAP and FERC/NARUC/AWWA
  • Meaningful data every day, not just at month-end
  • Cost flows that are easy to understand and explain
  • Financials straight from the ERP, without dependency on (waiting for) third-party solutions
  • Field Ops free to focus on their work, not arcane regulatory accounting
  • Highly defensible rate case data
To learn more about how HPC delivers utility accounting that Controllers love, look for us at the SAP for Utilities conference (booth #39) or schedule a meeting with us in advance. During the conference, we’ll not only discuss optimization of SAP Financials, Regulatory Reporting, and Work Management on ECC 6.0 systems, but also SAP S/4HANA adoption strategies and HPC's latest innovation for real-time regulatory financials on S/4.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Top Seven Things Your SAP FERC Reporting Solution Should Do

After spending a couple days at the SAP Controlling conference, we're reminded that utility accounting professionals are often unaware that regulatory reporting on SAP does not have to be opaque, error-prone, slow, or otherwise painful. Utilities that are relatively new to SAP may not have exposure to alternative ways of generating and managing FERC data; all they know are their own systems, which may not be configured to their full potential.

One way to test this is to see if your own SAP FERC reporting solution delivers key benefits of modern regulatory accounting systems.

Does Your SAP FERC Reporting Solution Do This?

  1. Deliver all the data that Accounting and Rates need without Field Operations having to know anything about FERC
  2. Assign regulatory indicators to work orders automatically
  3. Translate natural to regulatory accounts automatically
  4. Eliminate reconciling differences between FI, CO, and FERC
  5. Help Accounting allocate common costs very easily and flexibly
  6. Run fast without errors
  7. Let Accounting reverse and rerun FERC quickly, anytime they want
If your current SAP FERC system doesn’t deliver these benefits, talk to HPC about it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

FERC Reporting on SAP S/4HANA - Updated FAQ

In the course of developing solutions on SAP S/4HANA this year, we've updated our FAQ about Regulatory Reporting (FERC) on SAP S/4HANA.

Whether your utility runs the SAP FI-RRU (“FERC”) module or a homegrown derivation- or transaction-based regulatory accounting solution on SAP to functionalize your GAAP accounts, this FAQ will provide some guidance on S/4HANA’s impact on regulatory reporting for utility companies on SAP.

This paper is for public and investor-owned utilities considering S/4HANA, and is ideal for Finance, Accounting, Rates, and IT managers with SAP FICO/FERC responsibility. Request the FAQ online.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CXO Guide for Utilities on SAP: Four Reasons Not to Charge Cost Centers

HPC's latest CXO Guide for Utilities on SAP discusses four key reasons why charging cost centers is not a best practice for utility accounting. In working closely with utilities over the last 20 years, we've determined that cost centers are useful for summarizing orders, comparing budget to actual, and establishing a framework for accountability. But on the front end, charging them leads to less transparency and greater complexity.

On a related note, we've also found that utilities are often frustrated with reports in SAP that are difficult to understand. We hear the same questions everywhere: Where did these overhead costs come from? How were they calculated? Why do amounts vary inexplicably every month?

If you’re asking these questions, too, then it’s likely that your cost flow model overuses or misuses assessments, which leads to "bucket dumping" costs in order to close the books. Accounting needs to spread overhead each month, but doing so without considering the confusing effects on field operations can defeat the benefits of cost accounting to control spending. HPC helps customers address this challenge with our Cost Flow Streamlining service, which delivers total visibility into both direct and indirect costs, improved spending forecasts, and more efficient separation of costs into the appropriate regulatory categories.

Utility Controllers and FICO/FERC subject matter experts can request their copy of this new CXO Guide here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SAP for Utilities 2016 Conference

This coming October, HPC America will exhibit at the 2016 SAP for Utilities conference, where
we'll be speaking with utility finance, accounting, rates, and work management professionals about the challenges they face and the benefits that HPC has delivered to utility customers over the last 20+ years.

HPC is an SAP Financials, Regulatory Reporting, and Work Management expert dedicated to utilities since 1994. Our latest innovation for SAP S/4HANA delivers next-generation utility accounting: transaction-based regulatory reporting, automated line-item adjustments, unmatched cost flow transparency, one version of truth between GAAP and FERC/NARUC, and, ultimately, stronger rate case positions.

Learn more about HPC's solutions, services, and SAP-related resources for utilities, and contact us to schedule a meeting prior to the SAP for Utilities conference.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Reverse FERC Drill-Down in SAP

As cost flows become more complex, utilities today often find it challenging to trace costs in adequate granularity from sender to receiver—and in reverse to more easily explain costs to regulators. HPC America has pioneered an accounting approach that enables unmatched forward and reverse FERC drill-down transparency.

Our “CO-centric” design for utility financials leverages the Controlling module’s rich secondary cost
data, and our Utility Financials Accelerator and Cost Flow Forensics software provide the most detailed forward and reverse translation of costs. In a forward translation, an original charge is split to one or more FERC accounts. HPC CFF indicates which portions of these original transactions trace to each FERC account. Likewise, in reverse, HPC CFF traces each FERC account to the portions of the original transactions, thereby explaining each dollar amount in FERC accounts by the natural account amounts entered. Our CO-centric design creates a trail of sender/receiver handoffs, and HPC CFF plays this back in a FERC context.

Learn more about modern utility accounting on SAP, and contact us to discuss your own challenges around tracing costs and the FERC drill-down.

2016 SAP Controlling Conference - Fleet Accounting and more

HPC America is pleased to announce that we'll be exhibiting and presenting at this year's SAP Controlling conference in San Diego, September 13-14, 2016.

During the event, HPC CEO Jerry Cavalieri will lead a session on Fleet Accounting best practices in SAP. We'll also be demonstrating our cost adjustment solution for SAP, the HPC Journal Entry Transfer Solution (JETS), which streamlines the process of making high-integrity line-item corrections to mischarged orders, cost centers, and other cost objects directly in the SAP ERP.

Prior to the conference, you can learn more about fleet accounting in SAP and contact HPC America to schedule a meeting.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Electric utility increases FERC reporting flexibility and labor burden transparency in SAP

"Regional Utilities" is an electric utility company serving 60,000 delivery points in the United States.
In anticipation of its 2016 rate case, RU saw an opportunity to improve its SAP Financials foundation before beginning the significant effort of prep and filing.

To that end, RU engaged HPC America to move regulatory accounting (SAP FERC) into its SAP ERP, and to implement a new fixed overhead design for greater labor cost transparency and efficiency. "HPC's understanding of both SAP and the business of a utility was exactly what we needed to start this project with confidence," said RU's Controller. Read the complete case study.

Monday, April 25, 2016

SAP S/4HANA Readiness - 6 Tips for Utilities on SAP

Today, many utilities S/4HANA Readiness Tipsare looking into SAP S/4HANA carefully, trying to understand their options and the implications of different approaches to the new, in-memory platform. Concurrent with this research, customers ask us if they should take on new ERP projects while waiting on S/4: “What should we do, if anything, before we’re ready to move to S/4HANA? What are some specific S/4HANA readiness steps?”

While it’s tempting to stay in a holding pattern, we see a number of ways that utilities can prepare for S/4HANA and gain immediate benefits to their existing SAP ERP. Request your copy of our latest CXO Guide to get six S/4AHANA readiness tips that have value even if you don’t move to S/4 for several years—nothing is throwaway work.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Business case for SAP® S/4HANA for utilities on SAP

At HPC America, we've been championing SAP ERP modernization for many years, primarily in terms of Financials and the regulatory reporting obligations with which U.S. utility companies must comply.

Now that SAP S/4HANA is available, the business case for updating your ERP is even stronger—especially if you've been tolerating sub-optional performance from your ECC 6.0 system and old business processes.

We see at least six reasons to move to S/4HANA. To learn more, request your copy of HPC's CXO Guide to SAP for Utilities, Building the Business Case for SAP S/4HANA.

Resources for utilities on SAP®

HPC America is pleased to announce a new repository of resources for utilities on SAP. This page centralizes our variety of customer case studies, solution data sheets, FAQs, white papers, and other resources for utility companies on the SAP ERP.

Whether you're running ECC 6.0 or S/4HANA, these documents will provide insights and real-world examples of SAP Financials and Work Management best practices for utilities on SAP. Visit our new resources page for utilities on SAP.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cost Flow Streamlining for Utilities on SAP

For utility companies running the SAP ERP, HPC America is pleased to announce a new service that improves cost transparency, job estimation accuracy, and operational metrics monitoring. Based on our 20+ years of experience in utility financials, HPC Cost Flow Streamlining delivers the ideal mix of direct cost assignment, allocations, fixed overheads, and final cost settlement to help Accounting, Rates, and Operations perform their work more effectively with SAP software.

This service, typically completed within 3-6 months, minimizes SAP cost assessment processes that are often applied to expense and capital work but are confusing and difficult to explain--let alone plan for. HPC Cost Flow Streamlining replaces opaque allocations with transparent, easily understood overheads that enable project managers to plan and monitor the cost of work more accurately and consistently. Cost Flow Streamlining is available to utilities on ECC 6.0 and S/4HANA Finance.

Learn more about HPC Cost Flow Streamlining for utility companies on SAP.